Here is our prediction. Quadcopters (or drones if you like) will be getting smaller and smaller, as the technology improves and government laws start to restrict hobby classifications. This Cheerson CX-33 for example, is a small craft with an unusual 6 prop design, which has a great flight time and some nice video features. We ran it through some tests recently to see how it performs.
The CX-33 may look different, but it flies really well, both indoors and outdoors (as long as the wind is not too strong), and since it only weighs 152 gms, it is definitely going to avoid the need for a flying license in most countries of the world. But despite the small size and weight, it delivers a good performance where it counts. Check out our video below to see what we mean.
The flyer comes in a simple box, with spare propellers, screwdrivers, a 450mAh battery, USB charge cable, transmitter and prop guards. The model we tested also comes with a FPV screen which lets you see what the 2 megapixel camera sees as you are flying.
The craft flies surprisingly well. with enough power for some agile handling. If flown carefully it will give about 20 – 25 mins of flight time, but under constant full power this obviously drops to around 10 – 15 mins. Even though there is no GPS on board, the flyer is surprisingly stable, although it does drift a little without correction, which is to be expected.
The 2 megapixel camera won’t win prizes against quads like the DJI Phantom, but then again it is a fraction of the price, and in good sunlight it produces reasonably decent results. The FPV monitor is also good, with almost no lag between the images on screen and actual events. Do note though, that you may have to replace the AAA batteries for the monitor after every 3 or 4 flights, so it is probably better to use rechargeables.
One tip: always make sure to do the calibration first, before you start up the propellers. If you don’t like crashes. Speaking of which, the auto-land button is a nice touch, but it’s a shame the quad seems to hop and flip over so much on landing. It makes the prop guards an essential fitting.
Bearing in mind the price of the CX-33, it is a great little starter drone for someone who wants to try the hobby out without risking too much cash. It flies well, takes decent video footage in good light and is nicely portable. It is not that robust, so treat it carefully if you can, and it should give hours of fun.
Price: $102.99 as tested. (get $5 off with coupon RDCX33)